H9 - H10 market potential

NW Modeling List nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org
Fri Jan 15 11:25:07 EST 2021

Hi Jim;

This may be way out in left field.

Another option is to have the kit parts tooled for injection molding.  An
HO scale H9 (not including trucks and other detailed parts that have
already been tooled by others) would run $10K to $20K, with the set of
parts running between $5- and $10- with a 1K MOQ (minimum order quantity).
Going the upper end, that would be $30- cost per set of kit parts for a run
of 1K,  $21- per set for a run of 10K; plus packaging (about $1-),
shipping from China (~$1-), individual USA shipping (~$5-),
handling/storing (~$1-) -> $38 per kit cost for a run of 1K, $29 per kit
cost for a run of 10K.  Above that you need to make a living - estimate
$20K for the project, and cost of money tied up est $10K; so the selling
price (direct) $68- with a run of 1K, $32- with a run of 10K, not including
trucks, couplers, paint, decals or available commercial detail parts that
each person may choose to add.

Assembly labor (in China) with the appropriate equipment, including pad
printing is around $2- a unit, plus the cost of equipment and set up (about
$50K independent of the number of units produced, plus around $10K for
unique things for each type).

The above analysis - rough as it is - shows that Tangent, Rapido, and
similar model companies are providing a very fair deal.


On Thu, Jan 14, 2021 at 3:11 PM NW Modeling List <nw-modeling-list at nwhs.org>

> I’ve possessed a full set of H9 and H10 drawings for many years with the
> goal of creating models for, at least, the H9.  Given that the H9 has only
> been produced in HO as an Overland import many years ago and over 22,000
> were built in Roanoke, this is a car that should be produced.  I don’t
> think the H10 has ever been produced.  I guess the HL that’s been
> produced-to-death dating back to days of “a box of sticks” (Ambroid) and,
> most recently, made by MTH, suffices for most folks.  Not me.  I model
> 1957-63 and the HLs were gone by 1956-57, having given their lives to the
> H9 program.
> Since the H9 is a fleet car, having more than one on a layout is logical.
> However, it appears the only way this car will be made is in resin and that
> doesn’t cater to the “fleet mentality” (if you want a large fleet).  About
> 2 years ago, Frank Hodina produced an IC 2-bay hopper in 2 versions:  with
> and without cast-on grabs.  His reasoning was, in a fleet, the cast on
> grabs were small enough to be acceptable, even on a brown car, and the
> amount of labor saved justified buying a few.  He quickly sold out of both
> versions and recently made another batch but I don’t know in which option.
> What is your “take” on the H9 (and H10 shares the same consideration) re:
> a resin kit with/w-o separate grabs?  Resin kits are not cheap to
> manufacture and these cars are no different.  The price can be reduced a
> few $$ by omitting trucks and couplers but the basic kit, which requires
> patterns, rubber molds and labor, is the greater portion of any kit.
> Decals are a must-have for my kits.  Is there a sufficient market to
> justify the effort to see either kit become a reality or is the HL “good
> enough” for a 2-bay hopper and the BLI H-2a for the H10?
> Jim King
> http://smokymountainmodelworks.com/
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